Validation for the Toronto Raptors’ controversial management of Kawhi Leonard’s workload during the regular season has come during these NBA playoffs, scheduled rest days then giving way to an average of 38.7 spectacular minutes per post-season game now.
Sure, those nights off in the fall and winter were frustrating to fans but, really, even without the gift of hindsight, easing the non-essential burden on a player who missed all but nine games the previous season with a quad injury makes all kinds of sense. You don’t ask someone coming off a sprint to suddenly run a marathon.
The question, then, with the Toronto Blue Jays inviting social-media venom from parts of their fanbase by sitting out Vladimir Guerrero Jr. for Monday’s Victoria Day matinee against the Boston Red Sox, is what exactly are they trying to protect the 20-year-old phenom from?
Scheduled or not, why on Earth would they rest him amid his first hot stretch since getting promoted to the big-leagues, a 7-for-21, four-homer, nine-RBI, three-walk run that earned him American League player of the week honours?
On a holiday Monday, with a crowd of 26,794 on hand, their largest since 28,688 took in Guerrero’s April 26 debut, to boot?
Even after Eric Sogard was forced from the starting lineup by a sprained left thumb, with lefty David Price on the mound?